Sports

India eye series-saving win over Aus

India eye series-saving win over Aus
Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar and Krunal Pandya during a practice session ahead of the 2nd T20 cricket match against Australia, at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (PTI)
Bengaluru, Feb 26 (PTI): | Publish Date: 2/27/2019 12:00:00 AM IST

The focus remains firmly on the World Cup but India would also be desperate to ensure that a home series does not slip out of their grip when they take on Australia in the second and final T20 International here on Wednesday.

India are 0-1 down after an inexplicably poor batting performance led to a three-wicket loss in the lung-opener in Visakhapatnam.
The below-par 126 with the bat on Sunday denied bowlers a decent shot at securing a win even though the Jasprit Bumrah-led attack did all it could to keep the home team in the game till the final over of the match.
India skipper Virat Kohli has already said that his squad composition for the World Cup in May-July is “more or less sorted” but has not ruled out rewarding standout performances over the course of two T20s and five ODIs.
Considering the captain’s current frame of mind, both K L Rahul and Rishabh Pant are likely to feature in most of the games against Australia.
India rested opener Shikhar Dhawan to give game time to Rahul, who grabbed the opportunity with both hands by smashing 50 off 36 balls in his comeback game.
He had a disastrous Test tour of Australia before he and Hardik Pandya were provisionally suspended for their loose talk on women during a TV show. The ban was later revoked though they still face an inquiry.
With the series on the line, it remains to be seen if Dhawan is brought back into the side to open alongside Rohit Sharma or the team retains the opening combination which featured in Vizag.
While Bumrah showed his class after coming back from a break, the other pacer in Umesh Yadav leaked runs and was not able to defend 14 in the final over.
Pant, a strong contender for a World Cup berth, will be itching to perform after getting out cheaply on Sunday, and so will be Dinesh Karthik, who is left with just one game to make a compelling contribution before the World Cup.      
All eyes will once again also be on Mahendra Singh Dhoni the batsman who struggled to an unbeaten 29 off 37 balls as India managed 126 for seven in Vizag.
Debutant leg-spinner Mayank Markande (0/31 in four overs) did not pick up a wicket but bowled well according to Kohli. The 21-year-old might get another game.
Australia, on the other hand, will be fancying a rare series win against India in recent times, especially after losing the Test and ODI series at home to Kohli’s team. 

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